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Published: February 19th 2019
Donkey traffic jam
After waiting a long time for donkeys to cross a bridge we crossed only to discover herds more of the animals on the other side, also waiting to cross. Completely blocking the path trekkers started climbing the walls to get past and out of the way as more donkeys herders kept appearing and trying to urge their already stuck animals on.
Not being in any rush we had a leisurely breakfast before saying goodbye and heading on our way. The weather was glorious again, which whilst very pleasant to walk in would have been more useful yesterday than today where most of the route is tree covered so views are limited. It was nice to be warm for a change though.
Leaving the teahouse we pootled into Namche itself. Here we found a goat bell for Stephens mum and some horse bells for Chance - he’s going to sound like a Christmas pony! Most of the mules and horses here wear them so it’s a little fun. We also picked up a raisin loaf for elevenses and got some emergency cash out in case we end up stuck in Lukla.
We then headed down out of Namche, past the prayer wheels and fountain and onto the dusty track through the pine forests down 600m. It was certainly much quicker on the way down than it had been on the way up! There were hardly any people coming up the other way, which whilst making for pleasant walking didn’t bode well for flights.
Having had almost no check points
during the 3 passes walk we had to ‘check out’ of 3 all on one day! This was only mildly irritating as they weren’t too busy so we didn’t have to queue for very long.
At the bottom of the descent we stopped by the river for tea.
The route then continued on an undulating manner. Despite having already walked the route it was very pretty and it was good to see more varied farming and some more jungly areas again. It was also weird seeing helicopters above us rather than below us again.
Unfortunately we managed to miss our previous lunch place in Zamfute so stopped in Phadking instead. We had a reasonable lunch in a small teahouse. By this point the clouds had descended and it was cold and gloomy again. We are now both incredibly tired and tempers are defiantly stretched.
From Phakding it is pretty much up all the way back to Lukla. We had planned on staying in a village just outside and walking in for our flight in the morning. Our rubbish map is really misleading though - Cheplung is the last place on our route with teahouses. The map doesn’t even think this village has somewhere to stay. The next 2 villages are marked as having teahouses but there were none on our path. This meant that we walked into Lukla, very tired and hungry, around 4pm.
The first lodge we tried was full. Fortunately the lovely Lukla lodge was open and whilst not the warmest it was comfortable with good food and reasonable prices.
After dinner we tried our first ‘mars roll’ - they are on sale everywhere but higher up are very expensive. Turns out it’s just a pastry covered mars which is then baked. Terrible for you but surprisingly yummy.
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